You’ll see me at all the cons, kitted out in full.
Call me Smaug, and I’ll give you a roar
and a toothy smile and boom about my treasure.
There was a time when I’d have given you
scorched eyebrows and maybe even a burn
of the first degree, but they banned me for a year,
and I now wither with stares instead—a travesty, I agree.
At home, I sink into my chair—Chinese brocade,
a golden blaze of bearded lizards diving from bloody clouds,
knuckles flexed for a head-rending swipe—pour some tea
from my bargain-bin pot, the scales bright as
an oil slick, ready to conflagrate. The tea, I’ll admit, is
rendered clammy and sick—but worth it for the whiskered
head on the lid, the raised tail winding the spout.
I even bought a set of curtains in Oriental
blue, a writhing nest of fangs and scales
complete with ornamental claws on the metal edges
of the rings, the motif cherry-picked to match
the framed wyrm on the wall, who had snarled
alone for so long his snarl was nearing a sigh
—an affront to his once malevolent grin.
At sunset, I lie in bed watching the swirl of them above,
watching their slim lines withdraw the light, wounded,
from my face, viced in the teeth of my pillow.
I appraise the books on my shelf one by one: A Wizard of Earthsea,
A Dance of Dragons, Eragon . . . and smile, until
the scratch of talons on the window sends me under
the ramparts of my cover, and a huff of hot breath bursts on the pane.
“I Heart Dragons” © 2017 by Dafydd McKimm. All rights reserved.
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